AN/ This is my first doctor who fanfiction...I hope I did ok...
Growling in frustration, Rose threw her pen at the far wall of her office and dropped her head into her hands as she released and exasperated sigh and ran her fingers through her long blond curls in a futile attempt to ward of the imminent migraine.
Paperwork was quickly becoming the bane of her life, rivalled only by the Daleks and Cybermen. She'd been stuck with nothing but piles of paperwork for two months now and it was slowly driving her insane.
Pete had generously given her a respectable position in Torchwood when she'd arrived in the parallel world and given her experience, it hadn't taken her long to travel even further up the ladder.
But Rose didn't care about any of that, there was only one thing she wanted and it didn't look like she would be getting it any time soon.
After the Doctor had left her on that beach she'd decided to say "sod it" to his 'it's impossible' speech and soon after, with Torchwood on her side, she began work on the Dimension Canon, a machine that would hopefully open a pathway between this dimension and her own long enough for her to pass through it.
That was two and a half years ago and despite having all the technology of Torchwood at their disposal they couldn't get it to work. The mechanics all appeared to be right but it was as though something was missing and Rose just couldn't put her finger on it.
No progress had been made on the Dimension Canon in months and, just encase Rose's life wasn't miserable enough, nothing exciting had happened either, no alien invasions, no plots of world domination not even space ship taking a wrong turn at the Andromeda Nebula and in need of directions.
When Rose had accepted Pete's offer to work at Torchwood, she had envisioned dangerous and exciting missions to save the Earth, anything that would keep her distracted during times of slow progress in the Dimension Canon.
The Doctor's voice ghosted through her mind, "Rose Tyler, defender of the Earth, can't argue with that!" Unfortunately the only imminent threat to earth was the threat to the rainforest with all the trees they must go through for the seemingly endless mountains of paperwork.
Involuntarily, her mind floated back to her days with the Doctor, they were always so full of adventure and excitement, ever day there was a new world at their doorstep just begging to be explored and oh, how she missed all that running.
An image of her and the doctor running for their lives, hands entwined and huge grins on their faces filled her mind and a remorseful smile tugged at her lips before she forced it away and shook her head in an attempt to clear it of the images.
"Stop it!" she scolded herself. It wasn't fair, she had taken this job in hope that it would distract her from constantly thinking about the Doctor, what a bitter twist of irony that as a result, the Doctor was all she had to think about.
She blinked her eyes repeatedly, desperately trying to will away the tears as the familiar pain burned in her heart. After two and a half years, she still felt like an outsider in this world. Her mum and Mickey had made themselves at home quite quickly.
They had tried explaining to her on many occasions that it wasn't so different from the world they had come from but they were wrong, this world was SO different because he wasn't there. She was glad that they were happy but as far as she was concerned, this world was barren and hollow in comparison.
Her mobile suddenly began ringing and after a startled jump she reached for it clumsily while wiping away a few stray tears which had managed t escape.
Pressing the answer button, she spoke carefully, willing her voice not to crack, "Hello?"
A familiar voice responded over the line, "Rose, you're in luck, I think we've got something."
"I'm on my way," she replied before hanging up and running out the door, not even bothering to grab her coat, silently thankful for this recent and much needed distraction.
Rose made it to Mickey's station in record timing and after pressing her pass to the security lock, she shoved through the large doors and into the huge room that held most of Torchwood's facilities.
After spotting Mickey at a far wall, surrounded by computers as usual, she slowed down her hurried breathing before striding over to him with more calm than she felt.
"Well, here I am," she said, drawing Mickey's attention to her presence, "so, what do you have for me?"
Mickey didn't bother turning away from the computer, "check this out," he said, motioning towards the large computer screen in front of him and bringing up an image of the world map.
Rose noticed that it was covered in seemingly random time annotations but Rose knew they meant something, "what are the times for?" she finally asked after looking over the map for a few moments longer to see if anything else stood out.
"Those," he began, pointing at the times, "are times of death," despite the composed coolness of his tone, Rose could see the unmasked concern in his eyes.
"What do you mean?" she asked, wanting more information.
"That's what they are," he said, "the times of death of 52 people all across the world in all the different time zones, 5am in the UK, 6am in France, 8am in Moscow, 1pm in China..."
Rose's eyes suddenly widened in realisation, "you mean, they all died at the same time?!"
"Exactly!" he exclaimed before his expression became grim, "how messed up is that?"
Rose was about to say something else before the doors unexpectedly flew open again and Pete entered, followed by Jake and a group of Torchwood personnel.
Not wasting time with pleasantries, Pete got straight to the point, "I heard about the deaths, do you have any more information?"
Mickey shook his head, "nope, sorry. I won't have any more information until the post-mortems come through."
"Do you know if they all had anything in common?" asked Rose
"Well there is one thing," he started. Everyone looked at him expectantly, waiting to hear what he had to say. "According to the police reports, all of the victims died while in their cars."
Pete's posture became determined, "right, so we have a lead," he said, apparently satisfied that they had something to work with. "Rose, I want you and Jake to take some men and investigate all of the victim's cars, find out if there's any link between them and Mickey, let me know as soon as those post-mortems come through."
Jake and Mickey saluted, "Yes, sir!" Rose just smiled and nodded. Pete returned Rose's smile before nodding to the others and leaving the room.
Jake waited until Pete had left before approaching Rose, "shall we?"
"Ready when you are," she answered with a smirk before following him out of the room.
The pair stopped at the weapons department and Jake began arming himself, much to Rose's vexation, "Oi! We're supposed to be investigating cars NOT pointing guns at people!"
"I know that!" Jake countered, "but it's better to be safe than sorry," he said before holding up an impressive gun, "and what's safer than carrying an FS-15 riffle?" he asked with a boyish grin.
Rose rolled her eyes, clearly unimpressed.
"What?!" asked Jake with perturbed expression.
"I just don't like guns, alright?" Rose said, raising her voice slightly at the end.
"Alright," Jake replied, raising his hands in a gesture of peace. "What's with the aversion to guns anyway?"
"The doctor always hated guns..." she spoke so quietly that Jake almost missed what she said, almost.
"I'm sorry," he offered.
Rose waved her hand, dismissing his apology, "it's alright. Now, let's go investigate!" she said with more enthusiasm than she currently felt.
"Well, at least take this," said Jake, handing her a small, round device.
"What is it?" she asked, rolling the item in her hand.
Jake smirked, "it's a pressurized EMP timed explosive. Press that button in the side, throw it at a target and it goes boom in four seconds."
"It 'goes boom?' Is that the technical term then?" She asked with a teasing smirk.
Jake shook his head, "there's just no pleasing you, is there? Typical woman," he muttered in mock exasperation before heading off.
"Oi! Cheeky!" Rose called before running after him with a laugh.
Sometime later, everyone was gathered back at Torchwood HQ. Jake and Rose had used fake IDs, claiming to be from a car insurance company and had gathered as much information as they could on all of the Victims' cars, it was a gruelling task though they were pretty sure they had found a connection.
The post-mortems had just come through and Mickey had called them all back to headquarters to see if they could start piecing things together.
"So, what are the results for the post-mortem?" asked Pete, looking at Mickey.
"Well, I've looked through all of the files and according to these, all of the victims died from poisoning," he answered with a troubled look in his eye.
"Poisoned?" asked Rose, "by what?"
"That's the thing," said Mickey, "it says here that they were poisoned but the biopsy says that there were no toxins in the bodies."
"So whatever it was, it must have left their systems right away," Rose mused.
"What about you, Rose," Pete asked, "Did you and Jake find out anything about the cars?"
"Yes, actually," she replied, gaining everyone's attention. "At first look, all of the cars were different, different models different styles but they all had one thing in common."
"What?" asked Pete, glancing between them both.
Jake decided to answer this time, "They were all fitted with ATMOS."
Pete raised a questioning eyebrow, "you think that ATMOS is behind this?"
"UNIT certainly seems to think so," Rose said.
Everyone's attention shot back towards her, "what do you mean?" asked Pete.
"They've got the main building in lockdown and are in the middle of an extensive investigation," she explained.
Pete was shocked, "how did you find that out?" he asked.
"We saw them," interjected Jake, "when we went to the main building ourselves to do a little investigating, they've got the whole building surrounded."
"So, what do we do now?" asked Mickey who was still sitting at the computer.
Pete took a deep breath and massaged his head, "right, so what do we know about ATMOS?"
Mickey answered, "it's come through here before to be checked out, you know, encase it was alien. It stands for 'Atmospheric Omission System' and basically it reduces carbon emissions from cars to zero. As if that isn't weird enough, it was developed by a kid, Luke Rattigan. The boy's a genius, he developed the Fountain 6 search engine when he was twelve."
Pete nodded, listening to everything Mickey said, "and did they find anything alien when it was checked?"
"Nope," answered Mickey, "not a thing."
"How about I go and investigate this Luke Rattigan kid?" offered Rose.
"Good idea, but take someone with you," Pete replied.
"Right, so where can I find him?" she asked.
"Hold on," said Mickey as he began typing something into his computer, "here we go, he currently runs Rattigan Academy, a school young geniuses, I'd be willing to bet you'd find him there."
Rose couldn't help silently thinking about how much the Doctor would have loved to visit this school for geniuses, he would have loved showing off. Willing those thoughts away, Rose turned to Jake, "so, up for another little trip?"
"Sure," he replied, "can't let you have all the fun."
"Hey what about me?" complained Mickey, "I'm not being the tin dog!"
Rose laughed at his kicked-puppy expression, "you're not gonna be the tin dog, Mickey. We need you here as our technical support, so keep you phone close by and we'll call you when we need you."
Mickey huffed and folded his arms, spinning back round to face his computer, "whatever," he muttered with a huff.
"Thank you, Mickey," Rose said sweetly before leaving the room with Jake right behind her.
Rattigan's academy was quite a distance away so they decided to take one of Torchwood's land rovers to save time. "I'm driving," said Rose as she grabbed the keys.
"If you insist," said Jake while climbing into the passenger seat. "Mind you, I'm not particularly comfortable with travelling in a vehicle equipped with the same technology that we think killed those people."
Nodding in agreement, Rose replied, "I know the feeling. Hopefully we'll have this thing figured out before anyone else gets hurt."
Rose was apparently very territorial of the outside lane as she yelled abuse at anyone dumb enough to drive slowly while in front of her in that lane.
"Why does everyone insist on driving slowly in the outside lane, it's supposed to be for overtaking!" she complained as they drove impatiently behind a slow R-plate driver who was apparently in no rush and quite happy to remain in the outside lane.
Jake resisted the urge to laugh at her obvious displeasure, "calm down, Rose, we've got plenty of time," he tried to reason.
Rose didn't reply and instead chose to glare at the obtrusive car in front of her as though staring at it hard enough would cause it to suddenly vanish or spontaneously combust. It didn't.
Despite the inconvenient hold up, they had managed to make to the academy in good time. "Told you so," said a very smug Jake as they got out of the land rover and closed the doors. He frowned slightly when Rose didn't reply, "Rose?" he said again.
Concerned, he walked round to her side of the vehicle to see what was wrong and when he looked over to her, he saw the cause of her silence and his mouth fell open in a silent, "oh."
There, in the middle of the Rattigan academy gardens stood a tall, blue police box.
What did you think? Please tell me in a review :D
I had actually expected to get a lot further than this in the first chapter but that seemed like a good cut-off point, if perhaps a little evil hehe...